How do I find out about this book?

I found a copy of “Liberty,” by John Stuart Mill, on my bookshelf. The book looks interesting, but very, very old. There is no copyright page, but it does look legitimate, seeing as the cover is embossed and has a nice illustration of roses. The publisher is identified as H.M. Caldwell of New York.
I don’t want to read this book (I don’t treat books I’m reading very well) if it’s valuable. So, dopers, how can I find out:
a)What edition of the book this one is, and
b)how much this book is worth.

This library says their copy is circa 1898. I don’t have first-hand knowledge of valuing or selling old books, but you might google on antiquarian books or try some sellers at

BTW, you do want to read this book, if not this particular copy. It is a great book.

(Oh, and the title is On Liberty.)

According to this site it was first published in 1859.

The work was first published then, but not necessarily that edition.

I understand that. I was pointing out when the first edition was published. The OP doesn’t say what edition they have because there is no copyright information, etc.

I am a rare book guy, but I don’t have a good reference for this. I doubt the edition is valuable, the first was published in London in 1859 and is quite sought after, my guess is that the Caldwell edition is 1890s or later. Were it in exceptional condition it might command $50 bucks or so. Collectors are very demanding though and a condition that might appear acceptable to a layman might be judged more harshly by a potential buyer.

In short it sounds like a nice copy, but it is not the first and is not likely to be judged valuable either for age, or for a particular feature of that edition. I think it is safe to read and enjoy.

A search of WorldCat confirms commasense’s reference: the Caldwell edition was published in 1898. So not an especially early edition.

Another good resource for finding old and rare books is I’ve spent many an hour on that site.